Friday, February 22, 2008

More Kosovo

My fantastic dad sent me this the other day, for a number of obvious reasons (I'm still just learning Slovene, I aint going to Serbia no time soon) I won't be needing this for a while.

Yes, I'm blogging about Kosovo again even though I don't exactly live near there. It is just that it definitely does have some effect on this part of the world (we being the western Balkans and all), and frankly it is interesting for me as a young political scientist...though according to the accounts it is appearing to be a frightening case of history repeating.

Here are a few more great links I found today:

* Anegdote - Déjà vécu
Many people were injured in Belgrade today, and one person died. But that feels like nothing compared to knowing that lunatics are once again politicians and that people are capable of such hatred, again.

* B92 (Serbian radio station whose offices were attacked) blog - Vojo's viagra: same old, same old
It may be just me, but there seems to be something inherently wrong with so-called “people’s protests” which are in actual fact not organised by the people themselves, but by those working in state institutions.

Slobo used them to great effect in the late ‘80s, bussing in the confused, ignorant and fearful for the yoghurt revolution and similar managed pantomines that collapsed autonomous governments in Vojvodina and Kosovo presaging the years of misery that followed.

Then, as now, the “people’s protests” were orchestrated for internal political gain by conservative demagogues manoeuvring against domestic opponents in a bid to retain power in Belgrade.

Attacking US embassies is nothing new, but for a government to post no police to guard it on the most sensitive day in the past seven years, while providing, in effect, the looters with a holiday and free transportation to expedite their activities, must be a first in the annals of anti-Americanism.
I mean, if you want the US embassy sacked, you should have the balls to say so out loud to the crowd, and if you don’t, then this is a case of massive incompetence.

* A Fistful of Euros - The interesting smell of burning embassies

This came at the same time as a government-sponsored mass demonstration against Kosovo’s declaration of independence. (Yes, Serbia still does government sponsored mass demonstrations. It’s a bad old habit that they still haven’t shaken.) The official line is that the two events were completely unrelated, and indeed the US and Croatian embassies were a couple of kilometers away from the center of the demonstration. On the other hand, there’d already been embassy attacks earlier in the week — the Slovene embassy was broken into and looted on Monday — and the Americans, at least, had pre-emptively evacuated their embassy and asked for increased police protection.